Saturday 31 May 2014

PLEX Price Crash

Eve's PLEX market is much like the real world gold market. Like gold in the real world, PLEX is
considered to be a safe investment, something that's always rising in price and a good hedge against inflation. While that might be mostly true investor speculation and manipulation can and has driven the real world price of gold too high, too quickly before.

It happened in the real world gold market in 1980. The price of gold went way up very quickly and then crashed hard.
In January 1980 gold hit a record 850 US dollars an ounce. After reaching those dizzy heights it then plummeted down and remained steady in the 300-400 dollar range for some years before starting to climb again to new levels. source gold price
The way I see it Eve's PLEX market behaves just about exactly like the real world gold market only more exaggerated. I believe the price of PLEX right now is just like the price of gold in the 1980s. The price of PLEX is rising too high, too quickly and will eventually crash too.

In MMO markets when the price of something crashes investors often panic, start dumping massive stockpiles and make the crash much worse before it starts getting better again... Usually not until after the really rich (no I'm not that rich) decide the price is low enough for them to start buying it all out.

Exactly when or at what price point a PLEX price crash might happen is difficult to predict though it'll almost certainly be very bad for investors with a lot of their net worth tied up in PLEX.

There's usually a limit where people decide the price is too high and the majority just stop buying. Such limits are often very close to (usually just under) a nice round number like 100 or 1000. For PLEX I figure the limit is 1 billion ISK per PLEX. My guess is most players will start severely curtailing their PLEX purchases when the price is somewhere in the 900-950 million ISK range.

Personally, I've already started cutting back on my PLEX purchases. I'm not at the point of shutting down accounts and I probably never will get there, but I've already severely cut back on purchasing PLEX for dual training purposes (since the price hit 700 million ISK).

Post inspired by Croda's What is the purpose of PLEX

Wednesday 21 May 2014

DST Freighter and JF Changes

I've commented on the proposed changes to blockade runners but I haven't said anything about the proposed changes to Deep Space Transports, Freighters or Jump Freighters. Mostly that's because I don't fly any of those ships but also partly because I know my some of my opinions (particularly on Jump Freighters) would be extremely unpopular.

Ok, here goes...

Deep Space Transports

I never cared for DSTs, they're way too big, way too slow and not nearly agile enough for my purposes. I generally don't need anywhere near that much cargo space either and for the rare times a large cargo hold might come in handy it isn't enough bigger than that of T1 haulers nor is the survivability enough better to justify using them over much cheaper T1 haulers.

I think the fleet hanger is a terrible idea, why not just make the normal cargo hold bigger instead? Say about 60-75k when fit for max cargo. Give them great tank, somewhat better speed and alignment time, double the warp speed, and replace the shield booster bonus on Minmatar and Caldari DSTs with a shield hit point bonus.

I don't think that would be overpowered but I don't fly DSTs so maybe I'm being too generous. That'd make DSTs a viable option between T1 Industrials and Orcas.

Maybe give them that nullifier idea that's being tossed around in the feedback thread too. I'm not sure if that would be overpowered or not but it'd certainly make them far more popular for use in low and null which is after all what the name "Deep Space Transport" implies.


Again I don't fly Freighters for the same reasons as for DSTs but it seems to me the Freighter changes were very poorly thought out at first. The rig idea was terrible, about all that would've accomplished was significantly increase the cost of freighters and force freighter pilots to choose between bad options.

Thankfully the rig idea received the quick death it deserved, now the plan is to give Freighters 3 low slots instead. That'll give pilots more flexibility how the want to fit their ship, allow them to change fittings on the fly and it won't increase cost significantly like capital rigs would've.

The plan for freighters seems all right to me now though I never have and probably never will fly one.

Jump Freighters

Ok, here's the controversial part. No doubt Jump Freighter pilots (among others) won't like my saying so but IMO jump mechanics are insanely overpowered, not only for JFs but for Dreadnaughts, Carriers and Titans too. It's ridiculous that the largest, most powerful ships can move across the entire map faster than just about anything else.

Jump bridges and Cynos are at the root of the "power projection" problem where gigantic blobs can basically teleport across the entire map more quickly than local forces can respond and roflstomp pretty much anything except an even bigger teleporting blob.

I'm of the opinion that Jump mechanics and Cynos should be removed entirely, except for Black Ops which can only move special ships the largest of which are battleships. Even then there should probably be limits on how many ships a single Black Ops battleship can move.

In that case JFs would have to be completely reworked and probably renamed. Maybe make them "Fast Freighters", with less cargo capacity than regular Freighters but with significantly better speed, warp speed and alignment time too.

Note, besides helping with the "power projection" problem, removing jump mechanics would likely be a boon to local industry and trade everywhere (except Jita). Jita would almost certainly become smaller and far less important while many other hubs in far flung regions grow larger and become more important. Transporting goods over long distances (especially in bulk) would be more difficult encouraging local production as well as good business for those who do transport and/or trade goods that aren't produced locally (or not produced in sufficient quantity to meet local demand).

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Crybaby Gankers

The gankers are still crying up a storm about cargo scan immunity in the blockade runner rebalance thread. One of them came up with this gem of stupidity today.

You can have perfect safety with a BR in high and lowsec without cargo scan immunity.The only reason to want it is laziness.

Oh really?

Funny, I see it exactly the opposite. Blockade runner pilots aren't lazy because of cargo scan immunity, but gankers are lazy crybabies depending on ezmode cargo scan to make finding profitable gank targets trivially simple and completely risk free.

Gankers are so greedy they can't tolerate missing out on the occasional juicy target because they're too risk adverse to gank anything they aren't absolutely certain they'd profit off of and too lazy to gather proper intelligence on potential targets. They want their ezmode I-Win button to work on everything.

I have a great idea. Ok fine, let's take away the blockade runner scan immunity just like the gankers are crying for. But with one condition.

At the same time remove cargo scanning completely, take away the ganker's ezmode I-WIN button and make them work for intel to choose gank targets for a change.

It's a win win situation. The gankers would get what they asked for (and exactly what they deserve) plus it'd make a whole lot of industrial/transport/freighter pilots very happy.

Monday 19 May 2014

Cargo Scan Immunity

Over in the Bockade Runner Rebalance thread on the official forums there is a very small but extremely vocal minority trying to get blockade runners nerfed by removing the cargo scan immunity. For the most part it's one guy arguing incessantly for the nerf, repeating the same arguments ad nauseum and a few others supporting him.

There's a lot of crap being spouted about "bad pilots", "good pilots" and scan immunity somehow making flying empty BRs on autopilot less safe for what he considers "good pilots".

The nerf callers keep insisting that removing the scan immunity would make flying empty BRs on autopilot safer from gankers. They seem to think being unable to see what a BR is carrying means high sec gankers kill all BRs on sight and nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is the vast majority of the time gankers are in it for profit, not being able to see what a BR is carrying means they don't know if killing your BR is profitable or not so they just ignore it.

I'm speaking from extensive personal experience with 25 blockade runner pilots regularly flying all over high sec on autopilot. That includes flying on autopilot to/from all 5 main hubs, the largest hubs in 16 other empire regions, and through virtually all of the worst, most notorious 0.5 gank camp systems like Uedama, Litiura and the Deltole/Aufay/Balle chain.

In the roughly 1 year since I got my first blockade runner I haven't lost a single one in high sec yet. I did lose one to a low sec station undock camp while flying manually but that's another story entirely.

The truth is scan immunity does not make flying empty blockade runners less safe, or at least not by any significant amount.

What scan immunity actually does do is make flying all blockade runners (whether full, empty, on autopilot or not) much safer in high sec. In low and null it really makes no appreciable difference.

The cries to remove scan immunity aren't about safety for empty blockade runners like the nerf criers insist. It's all about gankers wanting BRs nerfed so they'll know if ganking a BR is going to be profitable or not rather than taking a chance and risking losing a little ISK. They want to take the risk of not making a profit out of ganking BRs.

IMO ganking hauling ships is already way too easy, nerfing the only class of hauling ship that isn't easy to gank would be a huge mistake, especially since BRs have the smallest cargo holds of all haulers.

In fact AFAIC cargo scan immunity isn't what's overpowered, it's the ability to cargo scan in the first place that's overpowered and should be removed! Make griefers and gankers put a little effort into finding profitable targets instead of making everything easy for them.

I sincerely hope CCP doesn't listen to the nerf criers and kill one of the few uniquely useful ship classes in the game.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Blockade Runner Buffs

Everyone's talking about the freighter rebalance (particularly the nerf to jump freighters). I wasn't worried about freighter changes since I don't fly freighters at all but I was concerned about the blockade runner rebalance. I was worried they'd somehow manage to mess up blockade runners, especially my beloved Prowlers.

Now that the proposed changes have been posted I'm happy with them. Overall the changes are decent buffs (nothing huge or overpowered) to all blockade runners.

The main points are:

All blockade runners will have two high slots (the Prowler is the only one with 2 highs now) to fit a probe launcher or covert cyno along with the covert cloak. This will be nice for non Prowler pilots flying in low and null.

The Prowler gets a third low. Agility, Mass and Align Time have been nerfed slightly. I'm not sure how that'll all work out in the end but hopefully if we slap a nano into the extra low we'll wind up with slightly better align times, making the net result a buff.

Cargohold increases for all blockade runners (some more than others). The Crane will have the largest base cargohold (4300 m3) and the Prorater the smallest (2900 m3) but the Crane also has the fewest low slots (2) and the Prorater the most (4). They'll all be able carry at least 10k m3 when fit for max cargo capacity.

The useless tanking bonus (is there anyone who actually uses shield boosters on a BR?) has been replaced with +5% warp speed per level. This is quite nice, finally there's a reason to train Transport Ships beyond 3 (or 4 for Prowler's with a Covert Cyno or Probe Launcher).  At Transport Ships level 5 they'll go 7.5au/s (1.5 au/s more than now) which is a pretty decent buff.

Tanks are a little better with full T2 resists. This will be a small, but welcome buff.

And possibly most importantly, they DID NOT mess with the unscannable cargo hold like some players have been lobbying for. That would make me (with 25 Prowler pilots) one very unhappy camper.

Friday 9 May 2014

Faulty Logic

Another blunder. How NOT to get rich buying and selling on the market.

First he sold me 1 for 210 mil and bought it back a few days later for 290 mil. Then 5 days after that he sells me 2 more for 211 mil each and buys 1 an hour later for 280.7 mil.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Financial Report - April 2014

Financial report for the month of April 2014 (last month). Trade oriented since trading is how I make virtually all of my ISK.

I buy and sell faction/deadspace/officer mods, ships, skill-books and implants with traders covering all 5 main trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie,  Hek and Rens) plus secondary hubs in most other empire regions. I have 24 active traders, 3 on Jita (one each for mods, implants and skillbooks), 2 in another region, another 19 each covering a different region and a couple spare traders that are not actively trading.

In April, I made a profit of 38 billion after expenses.

Current net worth is 544 billion with roughly half in cash and market escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and recently acquired assets I haven't gotten around to posting for sale yet. Very little is in assets I don't intend to sell soon, with maybe 4 billion worth of ships and fittings I keep for my own use.